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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Dogs in the moonlight..

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Dress: Joe Browns 
And, as if by magic, it's the weekend once again. I'm not entirely sure what's planned now as those I'd had have fallen through and I'm hopeless at decision-making. But I'm sure it'll be grand nonetheless.

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Bag: Kate Spade 
This pretty dress was one I'd had my eye on for a while in the Joe Brown's catalogue, and I pounced as soon as the sale began. I wasn't disappointed - their dresses are such nice quality. Fully lined, with a waist ribbon tie and an elasticated panel at the back of the bodice. I love the scooter print on this and thought I'd continue the impromtu Italian theme with this Kate Spade dog bag. Unsure why they seem to go together, but it works in my head..

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Shoes: Red Herring
These sandals always surprise me with how comfortable they are, although the pom pom on the front isn't very well suited to the rotten weather we've had for the past couple of days.
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How's your weekend? 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Friday Favourites 253..

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Happy Friday, folks! It's been a funny old week, which seems to have both zipped by and also kind of dragged. As usual, I've not managed to do all of the things I'd planned, but frankly when is that not the case..?! I've managed to go all heart-eyes-emoji over the following, though..


001: Another beautiful dress from Joanie Clothing. I'm aware that I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but I will continue to make room for the beauties they come up with. This yellow sunflower print just screams sunshine to me and I want! 

002 and 003: Absolutely loving the range at UK Lingerie at the moment - this Pour Moi set is right up my street and so reasonably priced, too. Absolutely love the cage effect of the knickers. They also come in red if you don't have a "black underwear only" rule like I do.. 

004: Because a girl always needs a new pair of shoes and there is just not enough glitter in the world. I love the shade of blue of these glitter heels from ASOS and, of course, the fact that the heels are embellished with all kinds of floral cuteness.

What's caught your eye this week...? 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

My Topshop sale picks..

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Having recently reached a bit of a milestone, I'm starting to wonder if maybe I'm feeling my age, when it comes to fashion trends. I've always been someone who knows what they do and don't like, but recently more than ever I've been despairing at some of the things which are on sale on the high street. Crop tops, cold shoulders and Granny-slipper-mules are never going to be my cup of tea. So, I guess what I'm saying is...it's been a while since I shopped in Topshop.

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Last week, I saw someone post about some cute brooches they'd picked up in the Topshop sale. They sent me a link and there were a couple of enamel pins from the Topshop Unique range on sale. I placed a Click+Collect order and ventured in on Saturday to pick them up. 

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As I was in the queue for the counter (unsure why there only ever seems to be one of the umpteen members of staff behind the counter when it's busy) I had a little look at the jewellery display, most of which was also on sale. This sequin collar necklace was £1 and the two keyrings (pineapple) and unicorn were £3.25 each.


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As for the pins I'd ordered - this deer was a lot larger than I'd expected and was down to £2, whilst the others were boxed sets of three pins, all down to £5. I think there are also some other options available, but they all seemed quite similar. I particularly liked the colourful stars in this one

Seen any bargains lately...? 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Narwhals narwhals swimming in the ocean..

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Matilda Dress: Limdy Bop
Every now and then I'll peruse the New In section on the Lindy Bop website and will notice something amazing. This narwhal print Matilda dress (which also has tiny unicorns in diving masks as part of the print) was definitely one of those and I wasted no time at all in popping it into my basket and hitting checkout.

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Triceratops Bag: Kate Spade
It arrived and I wasn't disappointed (apart from with the fact that the belt would probably fit around me twice - I wonder if perhaps I got the wrong one in my parcel). I love the print and the cut and the pretty pastel tones which lend themselves to being paired with my triceratops bag.

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Shoes: Lola Ramona
These Lola Ramona shoes have been some steady favourites for pastel coloured outfits for several years now; they're pretty comfortable and have a nice sturdy heel which was good for a Monday evening guides meeting. I was greeted when I arrived by excitable small people teaching me a song about narwhals - seems they were almost as excited about my dress as I was..! 

Monday, 17 July 2017

Blog Tour: The Summer of Serendipity

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 Eep, happy Monday and I'm rather excited to be starting off this week's blog tour. The weather this past couple of weeks has been glorious and naturally has got me thinking about summer holidays. If you're planning one, I'd ceratinly recommend today's book to keep you company on the plane or by the pool...

Welcome to Ballykiltara; a gem in the midst of the remote Irish countryside and the venue for Ren and Kiki's next business deal. Se(Ren)dipity Parker and her friend Kiki work as property scouts, finding the perfect homes for their clients to buy. Within just a couple of days of arriving in town, it seems as though they might well have found what they are looking for.

The Welcome House, however, has other ideas. Known in local legend as a safe house, where people who need it can go and stay, the cupboards are always stocked with food etc, the girls struggle to find out who to approach about selling the property. Perhaps they'll need to stay in town a little longer than they'd originally thought to uncover some information about the house and it's history.

Peppered with little nuggets of history, Ren's visit to Ireland is filled with chance encounters and a little bit of mystery. But which one of the locals can help her solve it? The writing style throughout this book is lovely and I'd definitely make sure you pack it into your case for any summer trips you might be planning. 


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The Summer of Serendipity: Ali McNamara


Friday, 14 July 2017

Friday Favourites 252: Yoshi Bags..

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Oh. My. Goodness. I'm doing a little internal squee of excitement, right now. One of my favourite brands for quirky cute handbags has just had a little redesign of their website, so naturally I couldn't resist having a little browse.. 

My goodness, have Yoshi snuck some freaking amazing new designs on there when I wasn't looking. Here are a few which I absolutely adore, but seriously, I found it difficult to narrow it down to just these..!

001: As I admitted on Instagram the other day, I don't really like dogs that much. (Sorry, world.) However, this bag is just amazing. I love the pale mint shade of the background with the lovely dog show design. 

002: The detail of the cityscape underneath these hot air balloons is just amazing. I recently took my Paris city bag to France with me, as you do, and this would be perfect for city break getaways I think. 

003: I think this little guy might be my favourite. I think he's the same size as my best Yoshi bag (this Into the Wild one) and since I seem to be living by my #BeMoreFox motto lately, I think he's basically an essential. 

004: I've loved the idea of one of the Yoshi biscuit bags for so long, I've just not been able to decide on my favourite. This jammy dodger is so nostalgic and cute, though.
005: I adore this cat and rooftop design. It reminds me of a bunch of postcards we were very taken with when I was in Paris recently, and the rooftops certainly remind me of Paris. Want want want! 

006: Because satchel bags are never not useful, and I've been looking for the perfect one for my bike. I think this floral print one would fit the bill nicely. 

What do you think of the new Yoshi site? And which is your favourite design? 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Keeping me hot like July forever..

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Jade Dress: Collectif
This dress has been on my wishlist for so long, I'd almost given up hope of it hitting the sale. But then...not only did it get reduced in the summer sale, but Collectif also ran an "extra 25% off" thing and I was sold. I absolutely love it and couldn't wait to wear it when it arrived.

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Bug Tights: ASOS
Matching the blues in this scenic print to my current best handbag - the Vendula sewing shop which I've been using pretty much every day for a good while now. I'm still loving the fact that it's big enough to carry all of my essentials including my diary, so I'm using it as my daily work bag.

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Sewing Shop Bag: Vendula London
These bug tights have been patiently waiting to be worn and failing finding any other tights I fancied, I threw them into the mix. And as for the shoes? Well, they're the latest in my newly found Orla x Clarks obsession. I bought the Dotty heels from the original collection, ages ago now, and haven't really been that fussed about them until recently, where I seem to be tracking them down on eBay like there's no tomorrow. These mustard platform sandals were the first but since then I've picked up Angelina in two colours, these Beryl sandals and a pair of Betty sandals. Obsessed much...?

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Beryl shoes: Orla Kiely x Clarks

Anyhow, it's been a wonderful week so far. Things are pretty good right now, to be honest, and I'm trying not to feel too smug about that. Long may it continue, frankly. 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Blog Tour: Summer's Lease

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Summer's Lease: Carrie Elks
I'm excited to be part of this blog tour. I spent the weekend lost in Lake Como in Italy, where this lovely summer read is set. Cesca Shakespeare (one of the four sisters which feature in Carrie's books) needs to get out of the rut she is stuck in. Having never quite made it past something which happened in the past, she's bounced from dead-end job to dead-end job, not quite sure where her life will lead.

When her godfather offers her something to do over the summer; his friends need a house-sitter for their Italian villa, which is due to be empty for months. Perfect for Cesca to get away and focus on writing her next big play. 

Except, things like this never quite go to plan, do they? And soon Cesca is caught up in an ongoing feud with one of the family, as well as getting romantically involved with a local who seems too good to be true. 

Whilst I've not read any of the other books in this series (yet!), I found myself very quickly immersed in the lives of the characters and enjoying the fast-paced writing style. A great addition to your holiday reading pile, for sure. See what the others in this week's blog tour thought, too. 


Summer's Lease blog tour poster

Monday, 10 July 2017

I can see for miles..

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Frankly, I'm feeling pretty positive about this week (despite the rain), following one of the nicest weekends I've had in a long time. I managed to fit in time with a lot of my favourite people and am feeling pretty lucky to have some wonderful ones in my life. 

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Yesterday, I'd signed up to help out at one of the now monthly open days at the local Lord Hill's Column. I visited this for the first time in 2015 (post here) and I was determined to take more photos, as I only ended up with the couple I'd snapped on my phone from the last visit (we went to Brighton a couple of days after my last trip up the Column and I lost my camera, with the pictures still on it, when our hotel was burgled. 

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Yesterday's weather was a lot nicer- sunny skies with some picturesque fluffy clouds making it easier to see a little further than the last time I'd climbed up the 172 stairs.

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Built between 1814 and 1816, it's the tallest Doric column in the country and is 40.7m tall, giving lovely views of Shrewsbury town and on a clear day, all the way out over the Wrekin. 

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At the moment, the Friends' society are ensuring that the column is opened to the public at least once per month in the summer, as they're trying to raise funds to restore the statue of Rowland Hill which stands at the top, made from Coade stone. Apparently they're expecting this to cost in the region of £500,000. You can book a visit, which costs just £5, here



Sunday, 9 July 2017

Every perfect summer's, eating me alive..



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Sammy Dress: Lindy Bop
Oh, this dress is just a total dream. I've been lusting after it for so long, as it's such a dupe for the recent Kate Spade flamingo dress, which you can see on this blog post. I waited for ages until it hit the sale section...and then it wasn't available in my size. Weeks later, it was back, and I pounced!


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Clutch Bag: Irregular Choice
The super hot weather has meant loose dresses and bare legs as much as possible. These sandals with their ice cream heels are soooo perfect for the sunshine. I snapped them up with the matching bag from eBay a couple of months ago and have been saving them for the sunnier weather. They're so incredibly comfortable and although I'd been a little worried about how well the elasticated straps would stay on, I needn't have been. 

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My legs seem to be covered in bruises lately (I'm blaming recent tree-climbing and bike-riding escapades) and also insect bites, which finally after a week seem to be on their way down. I wish I didn't get such a bad reaction to them. Boo. I still love summer the most, though. 

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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Prehistoric whimsies..

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Some Satruday morning cuteness for you all as if your week has been anything like mine, you'll probably be glad to see the weekend, too. 

I know that one of these little critters has already made it into an outfit post recently, but for my birthday I was treated to his cousin and I absolutely adore them both.


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In true Kate Spade style, the attention to detail on both bags is just lovely. They're adorned with studs in silver and gold and the triceratops has spikes at his nose and head, too. I mean, this kind of makes me think of the little metal dinosaur robots from Transformers now, but still..


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The t-rex has cute teeth detail with a mouth which moves a little, and his arms are also moveable. Triceratops has a fluted crest, which is heat-pressed rather than stitched as the original stock photos seemed to suggest, but he still looks good. 

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Both bags have the option to add their chain strap, which clips on to give the option of a shoulder strap but is also fully detachable from the D rings. They both fasten with a zip across the top and are lined in lovely grey fabric printed with whimsical text. 

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Size-wise, these bags are the perfect size for the essentials. In my case, that's my phone, keys and purse, with perhaps a little tin of lipgloss as well. They won't fit a lot else in, but they're not meant to be your daily tote. 

Friday, 7 July 2017

Friday Favourites 251..

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Ahh, this week has been so warm and lovely (almost a little too warm to be stuck inside the office, but that's summer for you). Here are some summery things I've spied this week.. 

001: Lindy Bop seem to be churning out some lovely new prints - I'm such a fan of border prints and this dress has some serious Bernie Dexter vibes but without the crazy price tag. 

002: Having had a big clear out of my desk at work, and being ruthless when it came to getting rid of things I don't use, pens which no longer work etc, I'd be super happy to add some of these pens from the new Ted Baker range to my stationery collection. 

003: I know, I know, I have already got a pair of these Irregular Choice sandals in pink, but I love them and have worn them so much already that when I noticed the Spartoo sale, I was pretty tempted to get myself another pair..!

What have you been lusting after this week? 


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Blame the hopeless romantics..

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Dress: Primark // Bag: Cath Kidston
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Shoes: Emma Go

Ugh, today's been a horrible day. Despite my dress being basically 90% handkerchief, I've been sooo warm it's unccomfortable. And I think I've managed to single-handedly fuck up something good. Uggggghhhh. So, I'm off to the gym to try and release some of the anger-sadness / pent-up frustration. Tomorrow will be much better. 

I've not worn this dress for years - since here in fact - and I wasn't sure when I put it on this morning, but wore it anyway because it seemed like a decent option for the heat. Thinking it would make it into the sale pile, I've typically had several people comment on how nice it looks, not like a sack as I'd previously thought..so, maybe I will keep it after all.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Way down deep where the shadows are heavy..



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Stop! Here is the empire of the dead...
Back when we booked our trip to Paris, the four of us began putting together a list of the things we'd like to see and visit whilst we were there. It's kind of tricky, I guess, fitting in enough things to tick four people's list of wants off in just three days, but we didn't do badly at all. I didn't have a lot to add to the list. A combination of the fact that I've spent a fair amount of time sight-seeing in Paris, and am fairly easy-going when it comes to what we do, meaning I genuinely didn't have a preference when it came to things like Tour Eiffel vs Tour Montparnasse. But, the one thing I was desperate to fit into our itinerary was a visit to the Catacombs.

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I'm not sure what it is that first provoked my intrigue, but ever since hearing about them, I was really excited about the notion of visiting these underground tunnels filled with bones.  

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Lucy, in her ever-organised state had drawn up a plan based on our list and also booked some of the things we were doing online, in advance, because she's great like that. We therefore had a time-slot ticket and had to get in to the much shorter (we heard a group of Americans complaining that they'd been standing in the general admission queue for more than four hours, at one point!), timed tickets queue. I'd definitely recommend that if you're short on time, or just don't like waiting for things. 

Once in, we were given tour-guide headsets and sent on our way down spiralling stairs, listening to the history of how this came to be. It's a long way down, and yet somehow didn't feel at all claustrophobic. 


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I'm sure I don't need to get into the depths of the history here, as there are much more useful sources of information than this, but these ossuaries basically came about when the cemeteries were overflowing in the 1700s and the remains of six million people were transferred into these purpose-built tunnels. They became something of a tourist attraction even from an early date and are still super popular, although very few of the actual tunnels are open to the public. I understand from locals that there are some other areas of the catacombs which *can* be accessed, and there was the suggestion that there's something of an underground cinema circuit, which I'd definitely have checked out had we had a little more time in the city. That said, since we've been back I've also read a news article about some people being stuck in the (non-public) tunnels and lost for several days, so perhaps it's not a good idea to go exploring...


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Once you're inside and have listened to the various recorded information tracks, you're free to move through the tunnels at your own pace. Despite there only being one tunnel to move through, and considering that there were so many people waiting to get in, it was miraculously free-roaming and not at all crowded: I was quite surprised. I was also kind of mesmerised by all of the pretty features, where some serious thought has gone into certain designs, such as the aptly named"barrel", below. 

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The tunnels are decorated using the tessellated bones of the bodies which were moved there, although there often needs to be repair work and some of the bone walls need to be rebuilt, due to the conditions leading to decay. In a macabre way, I found that the walls of bones were really beautiful. My inner emo kid was definitely in it's element. Particularly when it came to the verses and poems, carved and installed as part of some of the designs, too. References to short-lived flowers and death being a gain, just added to the wonderfully morbid feel eeriness vibe, in my opinion.


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I was super pleased that we managed to fit this into our schedule and I really enjoyed it. We probably spent about 90 minutes there in total. although you can spend as much or as little time as you want to, making your way through the tunnels to the exit. Where, much to my amusement, everyone's bags were checked again. Just in case you'd squirreled away one of the bones. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Tuesday Titles 135..

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The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband: Julia Quinn


While you were sleeping . . .
With her brother Thomas  injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt  has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a  scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across  the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a  week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the  handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He's unconscious and in desperate need  of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier's life,  even if staying by his side means telling one little lie . . .

I told everyone I was your wife
When  Edward comes to, he's more than a little confused. The blow to his head  knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall  getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is - even if he does  not recall her face - and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides  it must be true, even though he'd always assumed he'd marry his neighbor  back in England.

If only it were true . . .
Cecilia  risks her entire future by giving herself - completely - to the man she  loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of  his own for the new Mrs Rokesby.
So, if you're not hooked on the concept of this book by reading the back cover, I'll try and list some more reasons why you need to read this, right away:

Edward is adorable.
The writing style is just perfect - within the first couple of pages I was completely and utterly immersed in the story - why would Cecilia lie about being married to Edward...?
Yes, we're talking about war-time romance, but...it still manages to be light-hearted, frothy and thoroughly enjoyable. It's been my go-to read for the last few days so has barely left my side.

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Cloudy Shield Moonstone Ring*

Speaking of things which have barely left my side, this ring arrived the other day as well and I have to admit, I love it. I'd never really owned any moonstone jewellery before, and I'd usually go for something more costume and a little less dainty if I were picking a ring to wear with an outfit, but this Cloudy Shield rind from Moonstone Magic is kind of perfect with everything. 

I really like the elegant yet dainty twisted ring, and the fact that the stone itself seems to take on different colours depending on the light it's in. This does make it a little tricky to photograph nicely, though. I'll work on that! Have you had moonstone jewellery before?